Explore Naperville: The DuPage Children’s Museum
Located just north of downtown Naperville at the corner of School and Washington Streets you will find The Dupage Children’s Museum. This charming little learning center was founded in 1987 by two early childhood educators from Hinsdale, Louise Beem and Dorothy Carpenter. They had a vision for place that children could come to, have a hands-on experience and get messy while learning about science, art and literature.
This goal is reflected in the museum’s mission statement which is
“DuPage Children’s Museum ignites the potential of all children to learn through hands-on exploration by integrating art, math, and science.”
Visitors to the institution are treated to several exhibits on the main level. These include items to build with and stack such as blocks and magnetic puzzle pieces. There are stations where children can play with shadows and light. Even a room where you can take a temporary picture of your shadow on the wall and create fun poses and watch them gradually fade away. Want to draw on the Wall? There is a unique place that one can do just this with special light pens which makes this no, no a yes, yes.
One exhibit that is always poplar are the huge peg boards. They located under black lights and patrons are able to make designs using large, plastic, neon-colored pegs that glow in the dark. It is similar to the light brite toy so poplar many years ago.
The always fun bubbles play area offers a life-sized booth where children get a chance to stand inside an actual bubble they create. Kids have a fantastic time blowing, chasing and popping bubbles larger than their heads.
In the make it move center, you can build ramps using towers, blocks and track and then roll small wooden balls through your maze. There is a large corkscrew crank to carry balls high into the air. Use the tubes and peg towers to create pathways to other parts of the exhibit. Put a tub on the floor and see if you can get the balls into it.
Go to the you build it spot and craft your own toys using wood, bottle caps, buttons and other materials. You will use real hand tools like hammers, saws and crank drills. Parental supervison is required but this is a fun experience everyone should try.
At the water works location, put on your smock and get ready to play with water. Watch the plastic balls be carried away by the current. Use toys to divert or stop the flow of the water. Crank the pumps to fill the bottle up until it dumps its contents on the large wheel making it spin.
Upstairs guests will find the revolving exhibit space. This area changes approximately 4 times a year giving you something new to come back for.
Admission is $12 for Adults and Children (under 1 is free). Seniors are $10.
Hours of operation are
Monday – Thursday* | 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Friday | 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday | 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday | Noon – 5:00 p.m.
Every 3rd Thursday the museum stays open until 8 pm